By Erin McCafferty | Director of Operations
A helping hand can make a big difference in a person’s career. A career champion can be a positive force in a professional’s life, providing guidance that can help them succeed.
Finding a good career champion can be a huge help to young professionals looking for professional guidance. Here’s what you should look for in a career champion and how that person can help your professional development.
How a Good Career Champion Can Help
From in-person advice to reading suggestions, a career champion gives you the gift of information. He or she can provide insight into an industry that still may be new to you or guide you when you’re considering a move to a new organization.
Thanks to your career champion’s experience, he or she can provide examples of how to work though situations beyond your current responsibilities for when you eventually move up in the ranks. This teaches you strategies to start with instead of having to move forward without any support.
A good career champion also serves as a career guide. He or she can give you advice when you are planning out the next step of your career path. His or her experiences can serve as a model for situations at various points in your career.
Where You Can Find a Career Champion
If you’re lucky, you might be in the same room as a potential career champion. It’s not uncommon to find a mentor at your own place of employment. In fact, he or she might even find you first. I was fortunate to have had a boss who took the time to serve as my career champion. Even after I moved on to a new company, we remain in touch.
Not every career champion will be a fellow employee. Don’t be afraid to start networking and attending industry events to get to know the people in your field. Not only will you get a better understanding of the people in your industry, you might also start a relationship with someone who can provide mentoring in the future.
Depending on where you work, you might not need to look for a career champion. Some businesses – like Apple Growth Partners – have a mentoring program built in to our corporate structure to facilitate relationship building between new and experienced staff. Our mentor relationships provide job training and career guidance for our employees. We know it is important to invest in our employees, so we help build working relationships among our people. This program extends across our various departments. This helps enhance our Healthy Growth as a firm.
Why A Person Decides to Become a Career Champion
You may wonder what a career champion gets out of a mentoring relationship. Often, it comes down to wanting to help the next generation of leaders grow.
Some champions are professionals nearing the ends of their career. Over the years, they have accumulated a mass of valuable information and experience. This knowledge is not going to be particularly important if they don’t share it with anyone. By passing on their wealth of information, a career champion can use their hard-earned experience to make a difference in a younger professional’s life.
Many career champions have a mentor of their own who guided them throughout their career path. Mentoring a younger professional can be a professional’s way of giving back to the business community.
Growing a Company of Career Champions
At Apple Growth Partners, we understand the importance of having a strong career champion in your corner. An experienced perspective gives our new professionals an opportunity to learn from experts in the field. Providing employees with early mentoring helps them grow from the beginning of their careers with a company and can inspire a whole new generation of career champions.